Meet Nairobi’s coolest grandfathers

L-R: Jimmy Gathu with his daughter Chantal and Mike Sonko with his daughter Saumu
  • Today’s grandpas are young, hip, and stylish, wear bling, play golf and are active on Facebook and Twitter
  • Among Nairobi’s coolest gukas are President Uhuru Kenyatta, Governor Mike Sonko and Jimmy Gathu

President Uhuru Kenyatta is now a ‘young’ grandfather. He probably received the best inauguration present any head of state could ask for, when his eldest son Jomo Kenyatta, and wife Fiona Achola, were blessed with a baby girl and named her ‘Ciru’ after First Lady Margaret Kenyatta. 

The first family’s first grandchild was born at the VIP wing of Nairobi’s Aga Khan University Hospital, where Uhuru and Margaret visited the new mother   minutes after she delivered last Sunday (November 26).

Uhuru was said to have danced at the sight of his granddaughter in between taking selfies with the doctors and nurses, heavy security notwithstanding.

Achola wedded the younger Kenyatta last year and the latest development has made Uhuru - who was for ages has been fondly referred to as kamwana (young man) into a guka (grandfather).

President Uhuru is 56, still looking hippy and easy-going, a far cry from the image of grandfathers back in the day when Kenyans were given black mamba bicycles, ox ploughs and wheelbarrows as retirement gifts.  

Uhuru joins the league of Nairobi’s coolest urban gukas, among them Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and media personality Jimmy Gathu.

Flamboyant Governor Sonko became a guka in March this year at only 42, when his first born daughter Saumu Mbuvi delivered a baby girl. Sonko was overwhelmed by the turn of events even as he embraced her daughter and   grandchild, saying he had given her (Saumu) everything, including “education, a good life, I also love your daughter my granddaughter. What you have undergone is a normal part of life.”

Uhuru Kenyatta and his son Jomo

Gathu became a grandpa at 44 and told a local newspaper that news of daughter Chantal’s pregnancy at 21 was unbelievable.

“My first reaction was shock. Then I started wondering whether I had raised her well to handle the challenges of motherhood and marriage. I could tell something had changed due to the sudden mood swings. She had also stopped clubbing, but I could not put a finger on it,” said Gathu, known for the weka condom mpangoni ad campaign.

Fortunately, they are close and “she confided in me first before her mother. We decided to support her to pursue her dreams. After all, my wife also got her at 21 and she is a big-time achiever. Chantal is back to college already and is keen on pursuing her master’s degree once she is through with her under-grad,” said Gathu.

 It seems today’s grandpas are young, hip, stylish, wear bling, play golf, are active on social media and live in cities.  They also hang out with ‘the boys.’ 

There is no bonding under gnarled trees listening to ogre stories. Skype, WhatsApp video calls or Facetime will do, fine thank you.

The new breed of grandpas do gym time and own more jogging shoes than blankets. Catch them dead using walking sticks and if their hair dares sprout any strand of grey, a phone call to the stylist will do the magic. 

These young grandparents long dispensed with old school titles like guka and cucu, instead, they prefer their official names or revamped ones like glamma and glampa.

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